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You Can Buy an Alley in The Richmond for $35,000 - By jkukura - April 11, 2017 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

You Can Buy an Alley in The Richmond for $35,000

Image: Google Street View

In the annals unusual San Francisco real estate deals, a new property listed last week stands out as a bargain for just $35,000. At 22nd Avenue and Lake Street, with the beautiful Sea Cliff district right to the west and the incomparable Presidio National Park just to the north, this property stands out as the most affordable listing in a premium San Francisco neighborhood.

The rub is that is just an alley, the alley you see on the left-hand side of the photo above. You cannot build anything there. And all your neighbors have been using the alley as a shared driveway for years, so good luck changing that pattern.

According to the property’s poorly written listing on Redfin, “There is a driveway that people use to get to their homes that you can own. You can’t build, have to pay taxes, [insurance] and any other expenses.”

Hooked yet? The listing continues: “Makes a great engagement present. BG/BB/GG can try to subdivide it when they get divorced.” (NOTE: I Googled “BG/BB/GG” and my best guess is that these initiallisms refer to genders of married or engaged couples.)

Wait, there are more hare-brained schemes for your use of this property! “And for you out-of-the-box-insane-loving-ideas-tv-show-kinda-dude/dudette: Air Rights: You’ll own the air above,” the ad says. “This way, you can blackmail the U S Navy to pay you a fee to fly over your air space for Fleet Week.” (NOTE: Blackmailing the US Navy is almost certainly illegal.)

According to a Curbed report from 2015, the original asking price was $50,000 and the current owner bought the property sight unseen. “My client lives on the East Coast,” the property’s real estate agent told Curbed. “He bought it several years ago at a tax sale, and he’s never laid eyes on it.”

Despite the low, low price of $35,000, this is not the single cheapest property for sale in San Francisco. According to Redfin, there is a similar piece of property on Treasure Island for just $5,000 and a vacant lot near Mount Davidson for $15,000.